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Workshop with “Beneath The Harvest Sky” Filmmakers Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet
Photo By: Shane Leonard

On Friday, April 25th in Kominsky Hall at Husson University, NESCom presents in partnership with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film AssociationAward-winning filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly. From 3 to 5pm they will share their experiences as Maine-based artists and their innovative process of successfully making documentary and narrative films in the state of Maine. Their new feature film, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere will be at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film was acquired for release by Tribeca Films. Gaudet and Pullapilly were also chosen for Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” list and signed by the talent agency, UTA.

Gaudet and Pullapilly also made the Emmy-nominated documentary feature, THE WAY WE GET BY, on the Maine Troop Greeters of Bangor, Maine. The film won 18 festival awards, played in over 60 theaters across the country, and aired on the critically acclaimed PBS program POV in 2009 and 2010.

Gaudet and Pullapilly will share their experiences in the research and writing, pre-production, production, and post-production process as well as their strategies for marketing and releasing BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY nationwide. In the past, they have spoken on panels for Film Independent in Los Angeles, IFP in New York City, Silverdocs in Washington D.C., the Toronto International Film Festival, and traveled to Australia to be film mentors for the HIVE LABS.

Following the event, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY will screen at the Bangor Mall Cinemas, for the Maine premiere, where there will be a live performance from film composer/musician Dustin Hamman and the filmmakers will take part in a Q&A following each of the evening screenings.

For a complimentary ticket to the Maine premiere in Bangor on April 25, please RSVP:

The workshop in Kominsky Auditorium is free and open to the public.

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

NESCom Video Production Students & Faculty Work On Red Bull Frozen Rush

Video Production Student Chris Rancourt

Video Production Student Chris Rancourt

NESCom Instructor Steve Vachon

NESCom Instructor Steve Vachon

Students studying video production at NESCom got some real (chilly) world experience as utility on on the recent Red Bull Frozen Rush off-road truck race event at Sunday River in Newry, ME. The event, which was filmed for broadcast, included Red Bull athletes Ricky Johnson and Bryce Menzies driving the slopes of Sunday River on January 10th. Drivers that dared face the course found a variety of jumps, banked turns, slalom gates and a wild over-under gap jump.

Working the event were students Chris Rancourt and Jack White, both of which were hired by Boombox Productions to work utility on the event. Set up took a week of hard labor running cables and setting up for each camera position. Also working the event was NESCom Video Production Instructor Steve Vachon who was so close to the action a camera op that “…when a passing truck would strike the concrete retaining wall, I could feel the wall nudge against my camera position”.

The event will air nationally this Sunday at 3PM on NBC. For more information on the Frozen Rush series, visit

Aron Gaudet (’96) Recognized As Director To Watch By Variety

Variety has named NESCom alum Aron Gaudet and his wife/partner Gita Pullapilly as one of this year’s 10 directors to watch.

The latest project from Gaudet and Pullapilly is the film Beneath The Harvest Sky, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Students set the bar with production of the Nite Show

A note from NESCom President Thom Johnston:

The Nite Show with Danny Cashman has become a cult classic production that airs weekly across Maine, and in parts of New Hampshire and the Canadian Maritimes. In the tradition of Johnny Carson and David Letterman, Danny Cashman and his merry band of sycophants create a half hour broadcast every week that is a smorgasbord of talk and entertainment. The host and his sidekick Joe Kennedy, are a self-effacing duo who are, much like Carson and McMahon, at their best when things go astray. The Jump City Jazz Band, made up of of talented musicians, serves as the house band. That alone is worth the price of admission (which is free). While the Friday and Saturday night broadcasts on WABI, WAGM and WPXT have been polished somewhat in post-production, the best viewing is to attend a live session. Typically, three shows are produced in one session, but not necessarily in seriatim, which makes the live event a most interesting evening. Depending on the location where The Nite Show is recording, you can order a bowl of chili, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer as you play the role of a live audience

Noel Paul Stookey gets ready for his performance with NESCom student Nate Hart


Rustic Overtones on the Nite Show

None of this would be possible without a strong partnership, which includes WABI and the New England School of Communications. WABI is the platform which carries and distributes the Nite Show. The students and faculty of NESCom provide all of the production, which is a great resume builder for them. The most recent session took place at the Penobscot Theater in Bangor this past Wednesday night and was well attended, probably because of the venue and because of appearances by Noel Paul Stookey and The Rustic Overtones. Watching a show under construction adds to the entertainment, and you don’t have to go to New York or LA to see how this is done. You can catch mistakes, watch retakes, see how the present becomes the future and enjoy the band and guests as they offer more to the live audience than you’ll get in a 30 minute episode (distilled to 22 after commercials).

For those who are discerning and interested in video production, I commend watching the NESCom students in action with video cameras, microphones, cables, and consoles. On the audio side, sound is simultaneously being mixed for musician monitors, broadcast mix, house audio and multi-track recording. Regarding video, you’ll see multiple camera positions, a hand-held fig rig, an occasional mini-dolly and a flypack switcher. All of this activity is fascinating dance of technology and talent constrained by the clock.

If you’re interested in attending the next recording session, keep an eye on TheNiteShow website for upcoming tapings.

-Thom Johnston
New England School of Communications

NESCom Professor Films Award Winning Documentary

Rafael Garcia (Director), Todd Eastman (Director of Photography), Richard Webb (Assistant Director/Mexico, Camera Op), Nich Nycamp (Camera Op),  on the steps of the Church of San Tomas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

Rafael Garcia (Director), Todd Eastman (Director of Photography), Richard Webb (Assistant Director/Mexico, Camera Op), Nich Nycamp (Camera Op), on the steps of the Church of San Tomas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

In 2009, a group of filmmakers set out to Guatemala and Mexico to tell the story of the ancient Maya and the discovery of a once sacred site that lies under the surface of Lake Atitlan. The expedition leads to the 2000-year-old city of Samabaj with breathtaking results. Now completed, the finished film, titled Mayan Blue, has received awards and acclaim at film festivals across the country.

The crew, lead by Director Rafael Garcia included Director of Photography and New England School of Communications professor Todd Eastman. “My goal was to convey the same sense of wonder and discovery I was was feeling at that moment while staying true to the vision of the film” says Eastman as he reflects on the process. In addition to serving as Director of Photography, Eastman was also Steadicam operator and a diver on the production. With filming on land and underwater, the production involved 5 years of complex production that was required to effectively tell the tale venturing into the Mayan underworld known as Xibalba (pronounced /ʃɨˈbɒlbə/).

Mayan Blue was screened at the 2013 SOHO Film Festival. It received an Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Savannah Film Festival and was recognized as Best Cinematography and Best Documentary at the Geneva International Film Festival.

Eastman, who is developing the Digital Film program at NESCom adds; “I consider the experience of making this film both an honor and a landmark in professional growth that I can pass on to students. To be given the opportunity to create images that can take people places they have possibly only dreamed of is a privilege”.

For more information on Mayan Blue visit the film’s Facebook page

Something EPIC this way comes

Over the past 2 years, the Video Production department at the New England School of Communications has developed digital filmmaking courses to meet the needs of both the industry and the interest of the students. With the addition of a new RED Epic Mysterium, these courses are set to take their production quality to a whole new level.

The RED EPIC Mysterium-X, a camera in the Epic wheelhouse at RED DIGITAL CINEMA, is one of an elite group of extremely high quality cameras being used in digital cinema today. RED’s EPIC cameras have been used to create modern blockbusters like Prometheus and Pacific Rim. Peter Jackson, a big supporter of the RED line shot The Hobbit on an EPIC camera.  NESCom’s EPIC Mysterium-X includes 3 Zeiss CP.2 prime lenses and can shoot up to 5K in resolution.


This fall, the camera will be used in the VID312 Digital Cinematography course with Director of Photography and NESCom faculty Todd Eastman, M.F.A. In addition to use in the classroom, the RED EPIC has already been scheduled for use in the production of the recently-announced short film The Tale Of The Three Brothers.

For more information on the RED line of cameras, visit


NESCom starts short film with permission from Warner Brothers to adapt the work of J.K. Rowling



With permission from Warner Brothers to adapt the work of J.K. Rowling

The New England School of Communications is proud to announce that it is set to start casting for its second short film. In 2011-2012 the students of NESCom completed an adaption of Stephen King’s “The Last Rung on the Ladder”, which went on to win “Best Film in Maine” at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival. This year we were graciously given permission from Warner Brothers to adapt a short story by J.K. Rowling that falls in the world of Harry Potter.The Story, “The Tale of Three Brothers” was featured in the 7th and final Potter novel (The Deathly Hallows), and was later released in a series of short stories titled, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard”. NESCom is planning on holding an open casting call for actors and actresses on September 3rd from 6-9pm at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University. The project will then be filmed in various Maine locations this fall, and ultimately entered into film festivals around the country.The faculty and students involved in this project are very eager to get started, and look forward to producing a new and exciting vision of the work that JK Rowling created. The very short story has already been turned into a shooting script by two of the students (Sydney Hazzard and Brandon Doyen, who will also direct the project) and the crew is being assembled as the new school year begins.For more information on the production of The Tale Of The Three Brothers, email


Open casting call for actors and actresses on September 3rd from 6-9pm at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University

Roles to be cast:
Male (aged 60 to 75)

Boy (aged 8 to 12)

3 males (aged 18 to 30)

Girl (aged 5 to 10)

2 male (aged 20 to 50)

Female (aged 18 to 30)

NESCom Instructors Assist NBC

NBC producer Mary Kozelka was on campus this week interviewing Senator Susan Collins. In early September, the Today Show will be airing a series of news stories about Alzheimer’s disease with correspondent Maria Shriver. Senator Collins is a strong supporter of additional funding for Alzheimer’s disease research.

Our very own news veterans and NESCom instructors Steve Vachon and Larry Ayotte made up the production crew for the interview.

Senator Susan Collins being interviewed for NBC's Today Show.

Senator Susan Collins being interviewed for NBC’s Today Show.

Video Production Student Wins PORTopera Film Fest 2013

Ellis Ducharme, a junior studying Video Production at the New England School of Communications won 1st place in the PORTopera Film Fest 2013 “The Bohème Inspiration”. The contest, utilizing the written word, music and video was based around taking inspiration from the classic opera La Bohème which runs at PORTopera July 24th through the 28th.

The criteria for this project was to take one of the songs from the play “La Boheme” and record our own rendition of the piece, as well as producing a film to go with the music” says Ducharme, who lives in Peaks Island, ME. “My piece is a short, 5 minute film” he continues,  ”in which the concept of a commonly unaccepted art form is juxtaposed with shots of very calming operatic music being played, showing how much passion, dedication, and hard work is put into this art, after which the art is immediately removed, showing how most people don’t appreciate it“.

Ducharme’s entry “Art” won 1st place which earned him a $1,000 prize and a screening at the St Lawrence Arts & Community Center on July 19th. He credits his time at NESCom in helping him achieve his goals. “Thank you for the education you have provided me with thus far, and everything I have left to learn from you in the following years” he says. “I hope to have an eye-opening, informative, and fun two more years with everyone“.

View Ellis Ducharme’s winning entry “Art” below.

For full details on the PORTopera Film Fest, visit

NESCom partners with Audio-Video Corporation For Technology Tradeshow

NESCom Logo


New England School of Communications will partner with Audio Video Corporation for a technology tradeshow on Wednesday, March 27th from 9AM to 4PM at the Gracie Theatre.

Students, staff, faculty and area industry professionals are invited to speak with representatives from leading broadcast and production manufacturers including:

  • Apple

  • AJA

  • Audio Technica

  • AV Corp

  • Avid Audio

  • Broadcast Pix

  • Cannon

  • Epson

  • Genelec

  • Lab.gruppen

  • Miller

  • Parsons Audio

  • Presonus

  • Shure

  • Tannoy

  • TC Electronic

  • & Williams Sound

Admission to the event is free. Light refreshments and lunch will be provided. Parking will be available in campus lot 8 (Guest & Visitor Parking). Get directions here.